Keswick Mornings at Ed’s Desk
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
Over the past few years when I would spend any length of time at America’s Keswick I would make it a point to stop in and have a sit down with the guy that headed up Guest Services, Ed Weiss. Not too sure how I really got introduced to Ed but over his time at Keswick I got to know a guy who I could call a brother. Early in the morning after coming back with my WaWa coffee I would find Ed at his desk beginning his day and he would tell me to take a seat. We shared a lot of things that would always end up with the both of us saying “But for the grace of God…” Those conversations have come to end, first by Ed moving on from Keswick and then, more recently, Ed moving on into glory.
I got the news while at work and it was very difficult to keep my emotion together. God, in His infinite wisdom, chose to take another close friend from me. Month’s earlier it was James Getz and in both cases I had to find a time and the place to shed a tear. I don’t cry very much but when I hear that someone who God used to sharpen me has gone home I feel as if something inside of me has come to an end. James and I were kinda similar with our view of the world around us but Ed came from a different direction but both always ended at the foot of The Cross. The one thing I told Ed that he would always have over me was he did “The Suit” way better than I could or even feel like, but that was never meant to diminish the servant’s heart that Ed had.
I think of Proverbs 27:17 when it comes to Colony brothers who leave an impact like Ed Weiss did. The KJV put’s it like this, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Basically saying brothers are to have conversation with each other to turn that frown…upside down. We need to keep our minds sharp so we are aware of the schemes of our adversary, to remind each other of God’s grace and the gifts that come from that so that as a band of brothers we can go out to love an unlovable world and do God’s work without prejudice. We need to be of good cheer when we do get to sharpening each other because there is a 180° turn in this and that is as “iron strikes iron and sharpens it, so a wrathful man irritates and provokes wrath in another.” So it is imperative that we remember that “as iron delighteth in iron, so a man rejoiceth the countenance of his friend”
Keep in mind that there is both the pleasure and the advantage of conversation. No man should think himself an island nor doesn’t it do him any good putting himself in a corner to read his Bible alone, thinking he is coming to any complete understanding of it. Wise and profitable conversation sharpens men’s minds; it sharpens men’s looks, puts a briskness and liveliness into the countenance, and gives a man such an air as shows he is pleased himself and makes him pleasing to those about him. (very Matt Henry there) Good men’s graces are sharpened by talking with those that are good, and bad men’s lusts and passions are sharpened by talking with those that are bad. That’s just the long and short of it.
Even though we grew up in different worlds, Ed and I had some conversations that only could come from what Jesus Christ did in both of our lives, but what of the rest of you? Are you sitting down having coffee and conversation with a brother who is one with you in Christ even if he has come from the other side of the tracks? If you are that is absolutely bringing a smile on the face of Jesus but if that isn’t the case in your life I ask you to consider this, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:12-13). Jesus said this in His last conversation with The Apostles along with a great many things done to encourage them not to lose heart. I’ll be remembering Ed as the guy who reflected this…I hope you can say the same about a brother who encourages you not to lose heart. Amen? Chris Hughes is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger and a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. You can email him at email@example.com
Think About This: “If you become a necessity to someone else’s life, you are out of God’s will. As a servant, your primary responsibility is to be a “friend of the bridegroom” (John 3:29). When you see a person who is close to grasping the claims of Jesus Christ, you know your influence has been used in the right direction.”—Oswald Chambers
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: The Lord judges the peoples; Vindicate me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me. Psalm 7:8